Northwestern vs Pittsburgh Pinstripe Bowl Betting Pick & Prediction

Posted by Peter Boysen on December 27, 2016 in

The Northwestern Wildcats (6-6), bring their grinding and physical style of football into New Yankee Stadium to take on the high-flying offense of the Pitt Panthers (8-4). What the Panthers excel at offensively, though, they often lack on the defensive end, which could make this a fascinating matchup. Check out our betting advice for this bowl game as well as all of our college football betting odds upcoming bowl games and the College Football Playoff.

Northwestern vs Pittsburgh Pinstripe Bowl Betting Pick & Prediction

When: Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2 PM ET
Where: Yankee Stadium, New York
TV: ESPN
Stream: WatchESPN
RadioPittsburgh / Northwestern
NCAA Football Odds: Pitt (-5.5), O/U 65

Why should you put your money on the Panthers?

Pitt finished their regular season with three straight victories: a 43-42 upset win at CFP semifinalist Clemson, a 56-14 thumping of Duke at home, and a 76-61 track meet win up at Syracuse. The Pit offense is an exciting one, averaging almost 60 points per game in those last three contests and gaining 523 yards per game each week. The problem is that they gave up 39 points per game each week, and that iffy defense could give them fits against Northwestern. Tailback James Conner ran for 1,060 yards and scored 16 touchdowns on the ground, with four more on pass receptions. Quarterback Nathan Peterman threw for over 2,600 yards, with 26 touchdown passes and just six interceptions. But can Pitt hold off Northwestern’s plucky offense for the win?

Why should you bet on the Wildcats?

Northwestern may have just won two of their last five games of the season, but they came close to upsetting CFP semifinalist Ohio State on the road and stayed within two touchdowns of the Wisconsin Badgers. They faced Illinois at home needing a win to gain bowl eligibility, and they dealt a 42-21 whipping to the Illini. On the year, despite their plodding style, they did put up some big point totals on the season, hanging 38 on Iowa, 45 on Purdue and 54 on Michigan State. They feature a run-first offense, but quarterback Clayton Thorson had a solid season, throwing 21 touchdown passes against just eight interceptions. Tailback Justin Jackson picked up more than 1,300 yards and scored a dozen touchdowns on the year. Despite Northwestern’s struggles defending the pass, Pitt is a better running team anyway, which should help the Wildcats’ cause.

Betting Pick and Final Score Prediction

Given that Pitt went on the road and picked up a huge win at Clemson, I like their odds to come through in the clutch in a big game. Northwestern has no such win on their resume, just some near misses. However, I like the Wildcats to keep things close in a thriller. I like Pitt to win, 34-31 (but Northwestern to cover).